Letter to Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House, Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader and Harry Reid, Senate MInority Leader - Call for Clean Zika Funding Vote


Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader Reid:

As Members of the Florida delegation, it is our hope that Congress take immediate action to pass emergency funding to combat the Zika virus.

Seven months have passed since the Administration submitted its $1.9 billion request for Zika response efforts, and nearly four months since initial legislative action in the House. Emergency funding is needed now for vital vaccine research and diagnostic development, mosquito surveillance and control efforts, and education initiatives to warn of the serious risk the virus poses, particularly for fetal development in pregnant women.

In that time, the virus has taken hold in the continental United States, hitting our home state of Florida especially hard. To date, more than 16,000 Americans have been infected with the Zika virus, of which more than 1,600 are pregnant women. The spread of this disease has now resulted in 17 babies being born in the U.S. with Zika-related birth defects.

With federal funding for Zika response set to expire at the end of the Fiscal Year, Congress' continued failure to act will halt federally funded vaccine research, mosquito control, testing, and surveillance.

Our most fundamental responsibility is protecting the health and safety of Americans. Please present a clean funding package to fight the Zika virus as soon as possible.